were originally the attributes of the deity Osiris that became insignia of pharaonic authority. The shepherd's crook (known as the heka) stood for kingship and the flail (known as the nekhakha) for the fertility of the land, and the ability to protect it.
The earliest depictions of the royal crook and the royal flail were found separately, but the crook and flail later became nearly inseparable. A pharaoh held one item in each hand and crossed them over his chest. Once rising to power, a pharaoh had the crook and flail with him at all public appearances. The items remained with the pharaoh until his death and were buried with each ruler.